Many green card holders never explore the possibility of becoming a United States citizen because they do not want to give up citizenship from their home country. However, you may not realize that the U.S. does allow dual citizenship for many people, and the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recognized the validity of dual citizenship in a 1952 ruling. The U.S. Department of State also notes that the law does not require someone to choose one nationality or another. Dual citizenship means that you are a national of two different countries at the same time, and you have the responsibilities and rights that come with citizenship in both countries.
Obtaining Dual Citizenship
There is no special process for dual citizenship in the U.S. Instead, you will apply for naturalization as a second citizenship. Before you do so, it is critical to make sure that your country of origin will not automatically take away your citizenship based on your new status in the United States.
Of the major countries of origin of green card holders in the U.S., the following allow or do not allow dual citizenship:
- Allow dual citizenship = Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, United Kingdom, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam
- Automatically rescinds your citizenship = China and India, though India does allow you to register as an Overseas Citizen of India, which allows you many rights of Indian citizenship but no political rights
Dual citizenship between the U.S. and Cuba is a complicated matter, and certain restrictions may apply, so you should always discuss this situation with an immigration attorney.
Schedule an Appointment with a Citizenship Lawyer in Orange County
If you would like to discuss your options for naturalization, do not wait to meet with an Orange County immigration attorney at Brudner Law. Call 714.794.9366 or contact us online for more information.